Immersion program may leave gunston

Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:Do folks really think that the reason Spanish speaking families leave immersion in MS or HS has to do with location and not them seeing a diminishing value to the program? By MS/HS most native Spanish speakers will be completely fluent in English whereas most native English speakers will still be learning Spanish and working on achieving fluency.

I think chalking it up to location seems somewhat simplistic.

All I know is that we're a Key family and the commute to Gunston is a big issue for us. My elementary student is well on the way to being fully fluent in spoken Spanish, but I'd love her to stay in the program so she can learn to write well in Spanish too. I understand that leap typically starts in MS and continues into HS, just like it does in English.

Key is really centrally located. It would be great if the immersion MS and HS were too. If not, my kid may choose to go to our neighborhood MS that is a short walk from our house. It's super convenient vs. Gunston on the far end of the county.
Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:I feel a bit blindsided by this. There is already a recommendation before any community engagement? This should be part of any MS boundary process. The Montessori program is also at Gunston. I share the concerns already voiced about how well Gunston has integrated the immersion program into the school. Montessori is a stand alone program so if they need more space it would make more sense to me for that one to move.


Pandemic killed community engagement.


Growing up a long time ago in New England, there was no community engagement at all - not on school calendars, not on locations of schools or programs, etc. Yet we all managed to survive.

Parents don't get a say in everything. If you don't like the new location, then pull your kid from the immersion program and send them to the neighborhood school. If it's that important to you, then send them to the new location.


Community engagement was pretty non-existent where I grew up too. That isn't the point. APS has typically had a lot of community engagement in decisions like this. Whether APS actually listens to parents is another matter, but they typically seek a lot of input. A change to past practice isn't a positive here, IMO. Have you never been through a boundary change process in APS?
Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:I feel a bit blindsided by this. There is already a recommendation before any community engagement? This should be part of any MS boundary process. The Montessori program is also at Gunston. I share the concerns already voiced about how well Gunston has integrated the immersion program into the school. Montessori is a stand alone program so if they need more space it would make more sense to me for that one to move.


Pandemic killed community engagement.


Growing up a long time ago in New England, there was no community engagement at all - not on school calendars, not on locations of schools or programs, etc. Yet we all managed to survive.

Parents don't get a say in everything. If you don't like the new location, then pull your kid from the immersion program and send them to the neighborhood school. If it's that important to you, then send them to the new location.


Really? I grew up in New England and I feel like parents there had more influence over the schools since the school systems were town based and a higher share of voters were parents with kids in the schools. They didn't need performative comment periods because they actually cared what parents (aka majority of voters) thought.
Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:I feel a bit blindsided by this. There is already a recommendation before any community engagement? This should be part of any MS boundary process. The Montessori program is also at Gunston. I share the concerns already voiced about how well Gunston has integrated the immersion program into the school. Montessori is a stand alone program so if they need more space it would make more sense to me for that one to move.


If there weren't a recommendation, there would be nothing for the community to discuss.
Gunston is overcrowded and is expected to become increasingly overcrowded. Moving Montessori will eventually happen (Montessori WANTS it to happen); but immersion is a much larger program and opens a lot more seats than Montessori. Relocating the program to a location more accessible by the north part of the County will also (1) encourage more families to continue from Key to middle school immersion and (2) test how popular the immersion program beyond elementary truly is.



Do you happen to know know kenmore numbers? Won't they become overcrowded with the program.

Seems like an easy way to determine of folks will stay in Immersion and why is to poll folks about why they leave Immersion for a few years. Then make a decision on data vs assuming. If more key families leave Immersion than Claremont my guess is because they feel more comfortable with their MS then they do Gunston for reasons that have zero to do with distance and doubt Kenmore will change that. A lot of Claremont kids are at gunston regardless so the decision is easier for them.


Hence the planned comprehensive boundary changes. I wouldn’t be surprised to see neighborhoods move to Swanson from Kenmore, like the Patrick Henry apartments near Upton Hill, Boulevard Manor, etc. Then some Swanson neighborhoods may move to Hamm. Other neighborhoods may move to TJ from Kenmore, like some Barcroft neighborhoods. Some TJ neighborhoods may move to Hamm. Etc. All to reduce overcrowding in South Arlington middle schools.


I am still skeptical that families will chose a school that that is a mere 5-10 minutes closer merely based on that shortened distance. I mean I know certain N. Arlington schools had long distances to travel to immersion but isn't it more likely they leave immersion because they want their high performing MS and HS when grades really start to matter. I mean how many of those families would jump at the change for their kid to go to Thomas Jefferson HS despite the distance. I don't know maybe I am jaded but I just assume the attrition rate has more to do with performance than any other factor.


I'm jaded too. Kenmore and Gunston are 13 minutes apart per Google maps, WITHOUT traffic. The time adds up both in the kids' days and in the time it takes parents to pick up or get to school for after school events. My kids are all in ES so maybe that will change in MS. We're not terribly far from our immersion ES but it is more of a pain than I realized it would be to go the extra distance vs. the neighborhood school. I still think the immersion program is worth it, but I understand families who choose a closer MS, and Wakefield is on the southern edge of Arlington. In full disclosure we decided to buy our home in South Arlington to be closer to the immersion MS and HS, so if one or both move there is little reason for us to live where we are (aside from the significant cost of moving! ha!) I know this isn't what APS will be considering, just venting.


13 minutes is not much! At all.
Anonymous
This move makes sense to me. Kenmore has the highest concentration of EL students of all the APS middle schools, so it provides a higher level of native speakers. I also wonder if moving the program there and then shifting general populations north would allow split feeders like Ashlawn (currently split about 60/40 to Kenmore/Swanson) and Glebe to all be assigned to single middle schools. If all of Ashlawn went to Swanson and all of Glebe went to Hamm it would be better for the community to stay together.
Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:This move makes sense to me. Kenmore has the highest concentration of EL students of all the APS middle schools, so it provides a higher level of native speakers. I also wonder if moving the program there and then shifting general populations north would allow split feeders like Ashlawn (currently split about 60/40 to Kenmore/Swanson) and Glebe to all be assigned to single middle schools. If all of Ashlawn went to Swanson and all of Glebe went to Hamm it would be better for the community to stay together.


It’s still splitting Ashlawn between Swanson and Kenmore and Glebe between Swanson and Hamm. Looks like its splitting off more of Barrett to Swanson. That’s the part I find odd.
Anonymous
This is going suck for the Swanson-Yorktown kids as more Swanson gets pulled to Williamsburg.
Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:I feel a bit blindsided by this. There is already a recommendation before any community engagement? This should be part of any MS boundary process. The Montessori program is also at Gunston. I share the concerns already voiced about how well Gunston has integrated the immersion program into the school. Montessori is a stand alone program so if they need more space it would make more sense to me for that one to move.


If there weren't a recommendation, there would be nothing for the community to discuss.
Gunston is overcrowded and is expected to become increasingly overcrowded. Moving Montessori will eventually happen (Montessori WANTS it to happen); but immersion is a much larger program and opens a lot more seats than Montessori. Relocating the program to a location more accessible by the north part of the County will also (1) encourage more families to continue from Key to middle school immersion and (2) test how popular the immersion program beyond elementary truly is.



Do you happen to know know kenmore numbers? Won't they become overcrowded with the program.

Seems like an easy way to determine of folks will stay in Immersion and why is to poll folks about why they leave Immersion for a few years. Then make a decision on data vs assuming. If more key families leave Immersion than Claremont my guess is because they feel more comfortable with their MS then they do Gunston for reasons that have zero to do with distance and doubt Kenmore will change that. A lot of Claremont kids are at gunston regardless so the decision is easier for them.


nice.
Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:I feel a bit blindsided by this. There is already a recommendation before any community engagement? This should be part of any MS boundary process. The Montessori program is also at Gunston. I share the concerns already voiced about how well Gunston has integrated the immersion program into the school. Montessori is a stand alone program so if they need more space it would make more sense to me for that one to move.


Pandemic killed community engagement.

A silver lining of the pandemic! Thank goodness!
Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:I feel a bit blindsided by this. There is already a recommendation before any community engagement? This should be part of any MS boundary process. The Montessori program is also at Gunston. I share the concerns already voiced about how well Gunston has integrated the immersion program into the school. Montessori is a stand alone program so if they need more space it would make more sense to me for that one to move.


If there weren't a recommendation, there would be nothing for the community to discuss.
Gunston is overcrowded and is expected to become increasingly overcrowded. Moving Montessori will eventually happen (Montessori WANTS it to happen); but immersion is a much larger program and opens a lot more seats than Montessori. Relocating the program to a location more accessible by the north part of the County will also (1) encourage more families to continue from Key to middle school immersion and (2) test how popular the immersion program beyond elementary truly is.



Do you happen to know know kenmore numbers? Won't they become overcrowded with the program.

Seems like an easy way to determine of folks will stay in Immersion and why is to poll folks about why they leave Immersion for a few years. Then make a decision on data vs assuming. If more key families leave Immersion than Claremont my guess is because they feel more comfortable with their MS then they do Gunston for reasons that have zero to do with distance and doubt Kenmore will change that. A lot of Claremont kids are at gunston regardless so the decision is easier for them.


Hence the planned comprehensive boundary changes. I wouldn’t be surprised to see neighborhoods move to Swanson from Kenmore, like the Patrick Henry apartments near Upton Hill, Boulevard Manor, etc. Then some Swanson neighborhoods may move to Hamm. Other neighborhoods may move to TJ from Kenmore, like some Barcroft neighborhoods. Some TJ neighborhoods may move to Hamm. Etc. All to reduce overcrowding in South Arlington middle schools.


I am still skeptical that families will chose a school that that is a mere 5-10 minutes closer merely based on that shortened distance. I mean I know certain N. Arlington schools had long distances to travel to immersion but isn't it more likely they leave immersion because they want their high performing MS and HS when grades really start to matter. I mean how many of those families would jump at the change for their kid to go to Thomas Jefferson HS despite the distance. I don't know maybe I am jaded but I just assume the attrition rate has more to do with performance than any other factor.


I'm jaded too. Kenmore and Gunston are 13 minutes apart per Google maps, WITHOUT traffic. The time adds up both in the kids' days and in the time it takes parents to pick up or get to school for after school events. My kids are all in ES so maybe that will change in MS. We're not terribly far from our immersion ES but it is more of a pain than I realized it would be to go the extra distance vs. the neighborhood school. I still think the immersion program is worth it, but I understand families who choose a closer MS, and Wakefield is on the southern edge of Arlington. In full disclosure we decided to buy our home in South Arlington to be closer to the immersion MS and HS, so if one or both move there is little reason for us to live where we are (aside from the significant cost of moving! ha!) I know this isn't what APS will be considering, just venting.


13 minutes is not much! At all.

Each round trip for pick up or drop off it adds a minimum of 30-45 minutes to your commute, if not more. That's significant.
Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:This is going suck for the Swanson-Yorktown kids as more Swanson gets pulled to Williamsburg.


Yup. And more Swanson W-L kids will likely get rezoned to Yorktown to balance things out when the high school boundaries are revisited after the middle schools. But that will just further exacerbate socio-economic segregation.

That’s why a holistic approach to all secondary school boundaries would better serve the community. Arlington can’t keep blaming housing patterns forever. Boundaries are a tool that can be used to balance various priorities (walkability, diversity, school pyramids).
Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:I feel a bit blindsided by this. There is already a recommendation before any community engagement? This should be part of any MS boundary process. The Montessori program is also at Gunston. I share the concerns already voiced about how well Gunston has integrated the immersion program into the school. Montessori is a stand alone program so if they need more space it would make more sense to me for that one to move.


If there weren't a recommendation, there would be nothing for the community to discuss.
Gunston is overcrowded and is expected to become increasingly overcrowded. Moving Montessori will eventually happen (Montessori WANTS it to happen); but immersion is a much larger program and opens a lot more seats than Montessori. Relocating the program to a location more accessible by the north part of the County will also (1) encourage more families to continue from Key to middle school immersion and (2) test how popular the immersion program beyond elementary truly is.



Do you happen to know know kenmore numbers? Won't they become overcrowded with the program.

Seems like an easy way to determine of folks will stay in Immersion and why is to poll folks about why they leave Immersion for a few years. Then make a decision on data vs assuming. If more key families leave Immersion than Claremont my guess is because they feel more comfortable with their MS then they do Gunston for reasons that have zero to do with distance and doubt Kenmore will change that. A lot of Claremont kids are at gunston regardless so the decision is easier for them.


Hence the planned comprehensive boundary changes. I wouldn’t be surprised to see neighborhoods move to Swanson from Kenmore, like the Patrick Henry apartments near Upton Hill, Boulevard Manor, etc. Then some Swanson neighborhoods may move to Hamm. Other neighborhoods may move to TJ from Kenmore, like some Barcroft neighborhoods. Some TJ neighborhoods may move to Hamm. Etc. All to reduce overcrowding in South Arlington middle schools.


I am still skeptical that families will chose a school that that is a mere 5-10 minutes closer merely based on that shortened distance. I mean I know certain N. Arlington schools had long distances to travel to immersion but isn't it more likely they leave immersion because they want their high performing MS and HS when grades really start to matter. I mean how many of those families would jump at the change for their kid to go to Thomas Jefferson HS despite the distance. I don't know maybe I am jaded but I just assume the attrition rate has more to do with performance than any other factor.


I'm jaded too. Kenmore and Gunston are 13 minutes apart per Google maps, WITHOUT traffic. The time adds up both in the kids' days and in the time it takes parents to pick up or get to school for after school events. My kids are all in ES so maybe that will change in MS. We're not terribly far from our immersion ES but it is more of a pain than I realized it would be to go the extra distance vs. the neighborhood school. I still think the immersion program is worth it, but I understand families who choose a closer MS, and Wakefield is on the southern edge of Arlington. In full disclosure we decided to buy our home in South Arlington to be closer to the immersion MS and HS, so if one or both move there is little reason for us to live where we are (aside from the significant cost of moving! ha!) I know this isn't what APS will be considering, just venting.


13 minutes is not much! At all.

Each round trip for pick up or drop off it adds a minimum of 30-45 minutes to your commute, if not more. That's significant.


Exactly.
Anonymous
The meeting last night didn't really mention much about choosing Kenmore because it would be an easier commute for some families or that it would improve the program do to the proximity to Spanish speaking students. The conversation seemed to really focus on moving immersion to relieve overcrowding at Gunston. Which I guess makes the most sense.

Anonymous
Spanish Immersion was actually located at Williamsburg first. Maybe it should move back there to help fill that building which is over 1/3 empty.
Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Anonymous wrote:I feel a bit blindsided by this. There is already a recommendation before any community engagement? This should be part of any MS boundary process. The Montessori program is also at Gunston. I share the concerns already voiced about how well Gunston has integrated the immersion program into the school. Montessori is a stand alone program so if they need more space it would make more sense to me for that one to move.


If there weren't a recommendation, there would be nothing for the community to discuss.
Gunston is overcrowded and is expected to become increasingly overcrowded. Moving Montessori will eventually happen (Montessori WANTS it to happen); but immersion is a much larger program and opens a lot more seats than Montessori. Relocating the program to a location more accessible by the north part of the County will also (1) encourage more families to continue from Key to middle school immersion and (2) test how popular the immersion program beyond elementary truly is.



Do you happen to know know kenmore numbers? Won't they become overcrowded with the program.

Seems like an easy way to determine of folks will stay in Immersion and why is to poll folks about why they leave Immersion for a few years. Then make a decision on data vs assuming. If more key families leave Immersion than Claremont my guess is because they feel more comfortable with their MS then they do Gunston for reasons that have zero to do with distance and doubt Kenmore will change that. A lot of Claremont kids are at gunston regardless so the decision is easier for them.


Hence the planned comprehensive boundary changes. I wouldn’t be surprised to see neighborhoods move to Swanson from Kenmore, like the Patrick Henry apartments near Upton Hill, Boulevard Manor, etc. Then some Swanson neighborhoods may move to Hamm. Other neighborhoods may move to TJ from Kenmore, like some Barcroft neighborhoods. Some TJ neighborhoods may move to Hamm. Etc. All to reduce overcrowding in South Arlington middle schools.

They can move the Glebe-->Swanson contingent to Hamm so that Glebe isn't chopped in half at 6th. That would make room at Swanson.


swanson is at capacity so it looks like Swanson kids from in North Arlington will be going to Williamsburg, which is only at about 85% capacity.
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